Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 16 Picks

It's been tough lately getting these picks in with everything going on with the day job and the family but let's see what we can do.  Playoff seeding is the big thing this week in the NFL and then there's that small little issue with the 2012 #1 Draft Pick and who'll be positioning themselves for that. 

Houston @ Indianapolis - Would have probably picked the Texans and they go out and lose a tough game. 

Oakland @ Kansas City - The Chiefs come off their biggest game of the year by defeating the Packers and question is can they do it again against the Raiders?  Both teams are fighting for the AFC West Championship.  Tough game to pick, but,..... Winner - Chiefs

Jacksonville @ Tennessee - The Titans have an outside chance to make the playoffs, so they should play tough.  I still believe in Chris Johnson.  Winner - Titans.

Miami @ New England - Can the Dolphins surprise the league and beat the Patriots since they aren't really playing for anything?  Does this take the Dolphins further out of the discussion for the #1 pick?  Don't think they'll have to worry too much.  Winner - Patriots

Arizona @ Cincinnati - The Bengals will be fighting for their playoff lives and maybe that'll make them a little more dangerous.  Winner - Bengals.

Denver @ Buffalo - Tebow Mania gets back on track.  Winner - Broncos.

St. Louis @ Pittsburgh - The Steelers start Charlie Batch (should have done that last week, cost me a FF game) and they keep it moving.  Winner - Steelers.

New York Giants @ New York Jets - I think that Tom Coughlina nd Eli come up big in this game.  I'm not a Giants fan, but this ought to be good.  I don't trust Sanchez.  Winner - Giants.

Minnesota @ Washington - I might have to hear my barber talking about Rex Grossman this week.  I do not like the Shannys either.  Winner - Redskins.

Tampa Bay @ Carolina - I want the Bucs to win to possibly save their coaches' job (Morris), but I don't see it happening.  Winner - Panthers.

Cleveland @ Baltimore - The Ravens need to answer for last weeks debacle against the Chargers.  Winner - Ravens.

San Diego @ Detroit - I'm not a believer in the Chargers, but I think they have too much for the Lions.  Winner - Chargers

Philadelphia @ Dallas - Can't believe that I am doing this.  Winner - Eagles.

San Francisco @ Seattle - No way the 49ers mess this up.  Winner - 49ers

Chicago @ Green Bay - A McCown is starting this game at QB.  The team that does will lose.  Winner - Packers

Atlanta @ New Orleans - Saints in a tough matchup.  Look for the scoreboard to break in this one and Brees to break Marino's passing record.  Winner - Saints

Who you got?!?!?!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 15 Picks

Late to the game for picks this week.

Jacksonville @ Atlanta - would have picked the Falcons but didn't do it in time.

Dallas @ Tampa Bay - Cowboys need this win badly. Can they pull this off? Winner - Cowboys.

Carolina @ Houston - The Texans defense should help them slow down Cam Newton and their balanced attack on offense should give the Panthers problems.  Winner - Texans.

Washington @ New York Giants - Yes, I could see the Shanny's (Redskins) win this game.  I'm just not sold on these Giants.  They can run the bell and have dangerous options in the passing game, but for some reason they don't bring it each week.  I just can't put my finger on it, but I have to go with those Giants this week.  Winner - Giants

Miami @ Buffalo - The warm and fuzzy that we got from the Bills earlier in the season is long gone.  This team is reverting back to the Bills of recent years.  Miami is a decent team but they have been bringing it each week, no quit in this team.  The Bills gotta show up this week, right?  Winner - Bills.

Seattle @ Chicago - Ok, let me say, I was on the Caleb Hanie bandwagon and I still think that I am.  This team can win with him at the QB, but it's harder since they don't have Forte back there to take some pressure off of him.  Tough spot to be in, but I also am worried about this Bears defense that can't seem to get turnovers and get off the field.  The Seahawks have actually played well as of late with Lynch leading the way. Can he continue to pound the Bears this week?  Winner - Seahawks.

New Orleans @ Minnesota - Saints all day.  Winner - Saints

Cincinnati @ St. Louis - The Rams are playing terribly and the Bengals are actually still in the hunt.  Look for the Bengals and Andy Dalton to have a big game this week.  Winner - Bengals.

Tennessee @ Indianapolis - Can the Colts get a win this week?  I'm not betting on it unless the Titans turn the ball over a lot.  Winner - Titans.

Green Bay @ Kansas City - Do we really have to think about this one?  The only question is whether the Packers pull their starters early.  Winner - Packers.

Detroit @ Oakland - Should be a good one with Suh returning and a chance to get after Carson Palmer today.  Winner - Lions

New England @ Denver - Tebow Mania meets the Aura of Brady.  Which one wins out?  I actually think that Tebow looks good in this game against that terrible Patriots defensive backfield.  Winner - Broncos

New York Jets @ Philadelphia - The Eagles can only play spolier now.  If the Eagles can win this game they take Rex with them home for the playoffs.  Winner - Eagles

Cleveland @ Arizona - The Cardinals have to win this game.  A lot of beanie Wells and as little Kolb as possible.  Winner - Cardinals

Baltimore @ San Diego - The Ravens get Ray Lewis back (hopefully) and they have an opportunity to clinch their playoff spot with a win.  They'll get it done.  Winner - Ravens

Pittsburgh @ San Francisco - The Steelers need this game, but with them hurting on both sides of the ball it's going to be a tough game.  The 49ers have a chance to steal a game and just make it that much tougher for teams in the NFC.  I think in a slight upset you'll see the 49ers walk away with the win.  Winner - 49ers.

Who you got?!?!?!?!

Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 NBA Free Agency Deals

Well, after this long drawn out labor agreement deal, the NBA is now back in business and we'll start taking a look at the deals that are going down across the league.  Surprisingly, not too many head scratchers so far.  Let's take a look:

Shane Battier (Heat) - $9M for 3 years - I think this is a great deal for any Heat fan.  Battier can play the 3, hit knock down 3's from the corners and he can play some defense.  He's not as young as he once was, but I can see him, LBJ, and Wade locking down 3/5s of your squad during crunch time.  For $3M a year, you get a bargain.

Mike Dunleavy (Bucks) - $7.5M for 2 years - The Bucks need scoring and Dunleavy can do that at times.  He's a 6'10" shooting guard/small forward that has limitations on the defensive side of the ball, but he's one of those glue guys.  Hit a high percentage of his 3's last year and should be able to space the floor for Jennings and Bogut.  Again, a little north of $3M ain't gonna hurt nobody. 

Eddy Curry (Heat) - League Min for 1 year - If Riley can get this kid motivated, that would be a feat.  Curry was a young star in the league but then his penchant for late night Burger King drive thrus got in the way.  He ballooned and then it seemed the injury bug just attached itself to him.  He has a big body and is a decent rebounder (things the Heat need) so he'll be given opportunities to make good in Miami.  If it doesn't work here, he's done. I can honestly say that I think this will actually work out well because he won't have to be the star, like he was in Chicago, and he can work in obscurity.

Shannon Brown (Suns) - $3.5M for 1 year - This is the one guy I feel bad for.  It's like he had a breakout in the playoffs a few years back and since then, nothing.  Almost like his time was taken away from him.  He's young, athletic, and has a decent jump shot, but really wasn't a fit in the triangle offense.  Thought he'd be a good cheap fit for the Bulls, or at least an option, but now he gets to play along side Steve Nash (for as long he's a Sun).  I guess we'll watch Brown put up some gaudy numbers and he'll get some looks next season in free agency. 

Caron Butler (Clippers) - $24M for 3 years - Almost one that makes you hold your breath, but actually not a bad deal IF Butler comes back to his pre-injury form.  Toughjuice is a scorer who loves the ball on the wing and he can shoot or put the ball on the floor.  Butler is also adept at (Note to LeBron) posting up and using his size to get buckets.  He provides scoring punch and should enjoy the LA limelight.  If the Clips snag Paul (as rumored), this looks like an even better deal.

Greg Oden (Blazers) - $8.9M for 1 year - This is the qualifying offer from the Blazers to keep their rights on Oden.  He's had injuries (as everyone knows), but I think all of us are wishing to see him healthy and playing at least 1 full season to see how good he can be.  I don't think we expect him to put up 20 a night, but we just don't want to see the Sportscenter splash with the next Greg Oden injury. 

Tayshaun Prince (Pistons) - $27M for 4 years - This is a head scratcher because I'm still wondering why Prince would go back to Detroit.  I guess he likes it there and feels as though no one else would pay him that type of money?  How many games did they win last year?  And they lose Rip (buyout)?  Does that make this team better anytime soon?

Jonas Jerebko (Pistons) - $16M for 4 years - Maybe this is the reason Prince resigned?  I mean really, Jerebko may help on the boards and may provide a bucket or two, but what about this team makes anyone want to stay there?  Is Dumars asleep at the wheel? 

Tyson Chandler (Knicks) - $58M for 4 years - Well, talk about a bonus for winning a championship.  I guess Chandler thought it'd come from Cuban but the Knicks ended up making this deal come to fruition.  I like this deal because the Knicks can now have a frontline with Amare, Melo, and Chandler.  Neither of the first two are good at defense, but it always helps to have a defensive force behind you to make up for any lapses.  Who would have thunk that the two players the Bulls acquired (Chandler and Curry), 1 would have a ring and the other would be barely hanging on?   

David West (Pacers) - $20M for 2 years - Great deal for the Pacers.  West's game hasn't been about his athletic ability so hopefully his return from a terrible knee injury doesn't impact his game as much.  The Pacers get a guy that rebounds well, can put up 20 a game and he's a 'thug' from Xavier (hopefully you get the joke).  All in all, West is a good guy that can play and the only issue is no one knows just how he's going to rebound from his injury.  If he comes out like the old David West, this may be the steal of the FA period. 

JJ Barea (Timberwolves) - $19M for 4 years - Someone in Minny signed a point guard?  Where have we heard that before?  JJ Barea takes his hurt feelings and his championship ring to the frozen tundra of Minnesota.  Ricky Rubio, Johnny Flynn, and Luke Ridnour are the other PGs on this team.  I think they might try to make this 'small ball' thing take on a new definition.   

Mike Bibby (Knicks) - ????? - Mike Bibby leaves the beaches of Miami for the city life in New Yawk City.  Bibby has always been a heady player with the knack for hitting timely 3 pointers, however he wasn't hitting those 3 pointers for Miami.  In this uptempo system with a legit big man, I expect that Bibby finds his rhythm again and makes for a decent backup PG for this team. 

Rasual Butler (Raptors) - ????? - Butler barely played for the Bulls last year after they picked him up and I'm not sure how he'll fare with the Raptors.  He might find the stroke that made him deadly a few years ago or he might be out of the game soon.  We'll all get to see what happens. 

Brian Cardinal (Mavericks) - Veterans min - You always need guys that can play defense, dole out some tough fouls and be a glue guy.  Mavs did just that. 

Daequan Cook (Thunder) - $6.5M for 2 years - Cook has been a 3 point shooter for the Thunder and they wanted to keep him in that role.  He can get hot from time to time, but his job is to hit those shots when Durant is team teamed.  Not too bad for the price.


Lamar Odom traded to Dallas Mavericks for pieces - Odom cried when he was initially traded for CP3, but then he was just traded outright to the Mavericks.  Was this punishment for not showing up at practice after the CP3 deal fell through?  Did Khloe want to move to the big state of Texas so that they can start a new reality show there?  Either way, Odom is out of LaLa Land and I'm not sure if his fragile persona will be able to take it, but he should be able to go to Dallas and pick up that $9M he'll make this year. 

Glen Davis and Von Wafer traded to Orlando for Brandon Bass - I'm not totally upset with this deal for a few reasons.  Big Baby wanted more from the Celtics (money and clout) and he just wasn't going to get it.  He has had his moments for the Celtics as he has provided a spark for that aging team but I doubt that the Celtics playbook had several plays for Big Baby.  Brandon Bass is probably a slight upgrade over Big Baby at least in one area, rebounding.  Bass is a beast in the box as far as hustling and banging.  But at the end of the day, these guys are very similar to each other with the difference being age and a few pounds (maybe more than a few pounds).  Von Wafer was the throw in for this deal and he'll be missed as the Celtics are already light with back court bodies.  Wafer can be a spark plug off the bench and he is more scorer than anything else.   


Brandon Roy - I am still tearing up about this.  Roy was by far one of the best 2 guards in the league and I still wish the Bulls (I'm pretty sure they do too) would have drafted Roy instead of that buster Tyrus Thomas.  Nevertheless, Roy, it's been fun while it lasted.  Good luck on the next part of your journey. 

More to come,.......

Thursday, December 08, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 14 Picks

Real quick. Got Steelers tonight. Rest of picks coming later. Who you got?!?!

Kansas City @ New York Jets - The Jets need this win to keep alive their playoff hopes.  The Chiefs don't have me comfortablye enough to pick them, but again, I can see this Chiefs team, even with Tyer Palko, playing the Jets tough.  The Jets still have to solve the issue that is their qb, but maybe they have enough to make it this week.  Winner - Jets.

Tampa Bay @ Jacksonville - The Bucs need a win anyway they can get one.  The Jaguars want a win, or maybe they don't (Luck or RGIII anyone??), but this should be an entertaining game.  Both teams have bruising running backs and pretty good defenses.  I think I can flip a coin.  Winner - Jaguars.   

New England @ Washington - Not much to say here.  Winner - Patriots

Atlanta @ Carolina - Great game and good opportunity for Cam to get another win under his belt.  It's going to be tough for the Panthers since they have lost almost half of their starting defense and people seem to forget that.  The Falcons gotta play better to make a push for the playoffs and I think they right the ship today.  Winner - Falcons.

Indianapolis @ Baltimore - I have said all year that the Colts are going to get at least one win and there have been teams that they match up well against and I'm hoping that it's not this week.  Winner - Ravens

Philadelphia @ Miami - Here we go again.  On talent, the Dolphins shouldn't win this game.  On the way these two teams have played, the Dolphins should win this game.  I think my heart is going to get me in trouble.  Winner - Eagles

Minnesota @ Detroit - Two teams going in the same direction.  The Vikings have a better defense.  Still no running game for the Lions.  I think Joe Webb is starting.  Winner - Vikings

New Orleans @ Tennessee - The Saints play outside for the last time and against a dangerous Titans team.  Chris Johnson is back and I expect the Titans will lean on him to keep Drew Brees on the sidelines as much as possible.  I'm not sure that Saints defense can stop the run consistently.  Not sure that Titans defense can stop Brees.  Close game.  Winner - Saints

Houston @ Cincinatti - Can TJ Yates go 2-0?  If he's smart, yes.  Winner - Texans.

Chicago @ Denver - Tebow mania continues and they get a reeling Bears team who has to have a win or they are done for the season.  Caleb Hanie has struggled a little, but so have his receivers and he's lost his #1 running back in Forte.  It'll be tough, but I think the Bears pull this one out.  Winner - Bears

San Francisco @ Arizona - 49ers all the way, right? Winner - 49ers.

Buffalo @ San Diego - Buffalo is officially done.  I mean they've had the opportunity to make the playoffs with a strong start but they have faltered during this last stretch.  The Chargers need this win to make their season worth something and possibly win the AFC West.  Winner - Chargers

Oakland @ Green Bay - Well, congrats to my son for being one of the new owners of the Green Bay Packers and with him at the helm and making decisions, I think he'll keep this team winning.  Winner - Packers

New York Giants @ Dallas - Maybe the Cowboys won't call another bad timeout this week?  This is a battle for the NFC East lead.  Can the Cowboys pull it off at home?  Giants come in with a good chance of pulling this off if they can run the ball like they did last week.  Lots of animosity between these two teams, so I'm expecting some big time hitting.  Winner - Cowboys

St. Louis @ Seattle - Two bad teams.  The Rams are toothless this year and this may end up being Spagnola's last as their head coach.  The Seahawks have been looking good over the last two weeks and will probably benefit from their 12th man.  Winner - Seahawks

Who you got?!?!?!?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 13 Wrap Up

This weeks picks:

Philadephia @ Seattle - I found myself picking the Eagles and they go all the way to Seattle to let Marshawn Lynch run completely over and through them.  The 'Dream Team' is dead and I am hoping that Andy Reid has his bags packed.  Someone has to fall for this.  Inquisitive Mind 0 - 1 for the week.  

Carolina @ Tampa Bay - Cam Newton is a bad boy, if you didn't already know.  Just imagine how much better this team will be with a quality starting defense and some more help at receiver.  Carolina is back on the map for something other than college basketball.  Raheem, this is a bad year for you and the Bucs but hopefully you'll be given a chance to turn this one around.  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 1 for the week.  

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh - The Steelers opened up a can on the Bengals.  Brown and Wallace are a dangerous combo and this defense (because this is the Steelers) is going to gel a little bit more.  Dangerous.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 1 for the week.  

Atlanta @ Houston - You mean that TJ Yates started and the Falcons played this badly to lose this game.  First on Yates, he showed that he belongs, at least for now, in this game.  Nice arm, pretty good decisions and hey it always helps to have Arian Foster behind you gashing defenses.  Not only did he play reasonably well but the Texans also lost Andre Johnson again and still won.  I have no faith in the Falcons anymore.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 2 for the week.  

New York Jets @ Washington - The Jets tried to lose this game and then The Shanny's and Grossman stepped up to give the game away.  I can't root for the Redskins with the Shanny combo and Grossman at the helm.  I love their defense and if they were healthy on that side of the ball, whew!!!  Even in the win, Sanchez still gives me heartburn every time he drops back to throw a pass.  The Jets want to win out the rest of their games, and it's gonna be close.  Inquisitive Mind 3 - 2 for the week.  

Indianapolis @ New England - This one wasn't easy and it was hard to tell which locker room you were in when they did post game interviews.  The Colts battled back to lose by 7, but the Patriots were as mad as I've seen them in years.  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 2 for the week.  

Oakland @ Miami - I was tweeting during this game and the question came up 'Why did the Raisders travel all the way across the country for this game (because of how they were playing)?'.  My answer, they could get frequent flyer miles.  That pretty much explains this game.  Maybe Reggie Bush's career is starting over post Kardashian-gate.  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 3 for the week.  

Denver @ Minnesota - I told you, that Tebow is special and he just WINS!!!!  No, he wasn't the sole reason but ask anyone on that team and they know that no matter what happens they have a chance with that dude on the field.  What are the Broncos going to do with ol'Tebow?  Looks more and more like a trade to Jacksonville (@edthesportsfan I know that will make you happy).  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 3 for the week.  

Tennessee @ Buffalo - The Bills didn't show up and they got beat.  Yes it was close, but you would have though that they would have had more of a sense of urgency with this game.  I will say this, Chris Johnson is back.  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 4 for the week.  

Kansas City @ Chicago - Yes, I'm still on the Hanie bandwagon.  People are all over Hanie but please take a moment to rethink.  He had one TD back for an illegal procedure (not covering the tackle by Barber) and  he had another TD taken away because he threw the ball to Roy Williams.  The defense couldn't get off the field and they let a hail mary connect right before the half which ended up being the difference.  The biggest issue is that Forte got hurt.  Without Forte you get a lot more of Barber and maybe a little more of Kahlil Bell.  The Bears should have won this game, but losing this one and the injuries may end their season.  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 5 for the week.  

Baltimore @ Cleveland - Well, this was about as sound as the Ravens have played since that Week 1 performance against the Steelers.  Ray rice getting over 200 yards on the ground and limiting Flacco's throws may be the blueprint for the Ravens to win it all.  Yes, I'm saying that, win it all.  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 5 for the week.  

Dallas @ Arizona - These are the games that make me wonder whether the Cowboys are cursed in some fashion.  It came down to Garrett icing his own kicker and losing the game in overtime on a screen pass.  Tony Romo is somewhere smiling that it wasn't him this week.  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 6 for the week.  

Green Bay @ New York Giants - I could root for the Giants if it weren't for one thing, Eli Manning.  I just don't trust him.  (Soapbox) Eli Manning is average.  He's played well this year, but his entire body of work is average.  He actually played well in this game, but his defense let him down.  To he77 with Eli.  (Off soapbox) Inquisitive Mind 7 - 6 for the week.  

St. Louis @ San Francisco - Add some luster to that 49ers squad and they destroyed the hapless Rams.  There's a hugenot in MD who is probably very volatile right now.  Inquisitive Mind 8 - 6 for the week. 

Detroit @ New Orleans - Well at least the Saints continued shooting.  The Lions ran out of bullets.  Inquisitive Mind 9 - 6 for the week.  

San Diego @ Jacksonville - The Chargers tried to lose this game, but I guess they are trying to save Norv's job.  If they approach that the way they approach the season each year,...he'll be gone by Christmas.  Inquisitive Mind 10 - 6 for the week.  

OK, not such a bad week, but I can't make up ground this way.  That puts us at 119-70-2 for the year.  Just me and Jaws still in the 119's, eh? 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 13 Picks

This weeks picks:

Philadephia @ Seattle - I find my self back with the Eagles again. Gotta ride with them one more time. Winner - Eagles.

Carolina @ Tampa Bay - Bucs need a win to keep Raheem Morris employed and the Panthers need a win to keep their QB from probably going into depression.  Home game for the Bucs and they are a little banged up, but this will be a great matchup between two young QBs.  Winner - Panthers.

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh - This is Steeler-time.  Late in the season and time to position themselves for the post season.  It's a home game and they struggled out of the gate last week after their bye, but I imagine that they turn it on today.  Did I mention that this is a conference tilt for them too?  Winner - Steelers.   

Atlanta @ Houston - Tough game to have a backup QB in, but I like Yates and he can always make the safe pass /handoff to Foster.  I think this one will be close, but I gotta go with the Falcons because they really need this to keep pace with the rest of the NFC.  Winner - Falcons.

New York Jets @ Washington - If the Jets lose to the Redskins, I imagine that Rex will implode and we might actually see Sanchez cry on national TV.  Winner - Jets.

Indianapolis @ New England - This one should be easy, but for some reason I see the Colts winning this game.  I've been picking them to get a W for the past few weeks and they have let me down, let's see what happens this week.  Winner - Patriots.

Oakland @ Miami - Tough game by two tough teams.  Raiders gotta stop Reggie Bush (pause), now say that again and the Dolphins have to stop the other Bush.  The Raiders want to win the AFC West, right?  Gotta have this game.  Winner - Raiders.

Denver @ Minnesota - Tebow Mania goes to Minnesota.  I picked against him last week, but I don't think I can do it two weeks in a row.  Do you realize that this Denver defense is ballin?  That their running game, not including Tebow, is starting to gel also.  Winner - Broncos.

Tennessee @ Buffalo - The Bills need a win badly, I mean badly.  I am going to go with them.  Winner - Bills.

Kansas City @ Chicago - Yes, I'm still on the Hanie bandwagon and I expect him to play better this week.  Defense, don't sleep on the Chiefs.  Winner - Bears.

Baltimore @ Cleveland - This could be one of those games for the Ravens to come out complacent, but they can't have a let down this week.  They are doing too much good right now.  Winner - Ravens.

Dallas @ Arizona - Gotta have this game if you're the Cowboys.  Stop Beanie.  Winner - Cowboys.

Green Bay @ New York Giants - The train keeps moving for the Packers.  Giants just don't have enough.  Winner - Packers.

St. Louis @ San Francisco - Some of the luster has come off the 49ers since their Thanksgiving showdown, but they should make short work of the Rams.  Winner - 49ers.

Detroit @ New Orleans - A nice shootout on a Sunday Night.  Saints keep on truckin.  Winner - Saints

San Diego @ Jacksonville - A loss here for the Chargers will probably begin Tuesday morning with a few pink slips.  The Chargers have to win this game and they are going against a tough but not good enough Jags team.  Winner - Chargers.

Who you got?!?!??!?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 12 Wrap Up

Can we get on a roll this week?  Need to. 

Packers (won't count because I didn't get it in on time) - Do I get points for this one?  We all knew they were going to win, right?  Inquisitive Mind 0 - 0 - 1 for the week

Cowboys - They just may win the NFC East.  Scary thought.  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 0 - 1 for the week.  

Ravens - Finally my Ravens are looking good.  Ray Lewis, get healthy we are going to need you.  Hopefully this isn't a career threatening injury as some have been saying.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 0 - 1 for the week.  

Houston @ Jacksonville - Leinart out and they still win.  Bad outing for the Jags (and the Texans).  TJ Yates, remember that name.  Inquisitive Mind 3 - 0 - 1 for the week.  

Buffalo @ New York Jets - Jets won this game, but they are done.  I'm sorry, Sanchez is not the answer.  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 0 - 1 for the week.  

Cleveland @ Cincinatti - Better to be lucky rather than good sometimes.  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 0 - 1 for the week.  

Minnesota @ Atlanta - Can the Vikings get some relief while Peterson is out?  Or one of those chambers TO used to help heal his broken ankle?  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 0 - 1 for the week.  

Arizona @ St. Louis - This was a turrible game and the Cardinals still won.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 0 -1 for the week.  

Carolina @ Indianapolis - Went out on a limb with the Colts and that limb broke,.....congrats Cam on this win.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 1 - 1 for the week.  

Tampa Bay @ Tennessee - The Titans showed up and won this game.  Congrats to Chris Johnson for reminding us how good you truly are.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 2 - 1 for the week.  

Chicago @ Oakland - Yes Hanie had a 3 INT game, but he played decently.  This was the hardest game of the rest of the schedule and he'll be better next week.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 3 - 1 for the week. 

Washington @ Seattle - The Seahawks let Rex Grossman win this game?  You do know that I have to see my barber this week and hear about this Grossman stuff.  Arrrgh.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 4 - 1 for the week.  

Denver @ San Diego - Ok, I am going on line and ordering a Tebow jersey today.  Norv Turner will be on a bus out of San Diego and he'll just have to leak the pictures of whomever he has that has kept him employed this long.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 5 - 1 for the week.  

New England @ Philadelphia - Eagles are done.  I'm not sure I can in good faith pick them anymore.  You get blown out?  You don't run the ball on 4th and 1?  Andy Reid pack your bags.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 6 - 1 for the week.  

Pittsburgh @ Kansas City - Steelers looked sluggish.  They are still dangerous so watch out for them.  Inquisitive Mind 8 - 5 - 1 for the week.  

New York Giants @ New Orleans - Drew Brees!!!!  He just threw for another touchdown as I was sitting here.  The Giants are done and I expect Tom Coughlin's bags to be packed also.  Inquisitive Mind 9 - 5 - 1 for the week.  

It's getting better, could have been a 10 win week.  Let's see, this puts me at 109-64-2 for the year.  I'm only beating Mort and Shefter, that good company?

2011-12 NFL Week 11 Wrap Up

Tough week, let's see what happened.

New York Jets @ Denver - Tebow strikes again.  Inquisitive Mind 0 - 1 for the week.  

Tampa Bay @ Green Bay - Inquisitive Mind 1 - 1 for the week.  

Carolina @ Detroit - Started slow, but was indeed a shootout.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 1 for the week.  

Jacksonville @ Cleveland - Ugggh.  Jags let me down.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 2 for the week.  

Oakland @ Minnesota - Inquisitive Mind 3 - 2 for the week.  

Buffalo @ Miami - What happened Buffalo?  Inquisitive Mind 3 - 3 for the week.  

Dallas @ Washington - Took the Cowboys long enough.  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 3 for the week.  

Cincinnati @ Baltimore - Inquisitive Mind 5 - 3 for the week.  

Arizona @ San Francisco - Inquisitive Mind 6 - 3 for the week.  

Seattle @ St. Louis - I know hugenots everywhere are crying in their beer.  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 4 for the week.  

Tennessee @ Atlanta - Titans let me down, but Hasselbeck did get hurt.  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 5 for the week.  

San Diego @ Chicago - Bears win, lose Cutler.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 5 for the week.  

Philadelphia @ New York Giants - Eagles still on breathing machine for their season.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 6 for the week.  

Kansas City @ New England - Did the Chiefs even show up?  Inquisitive Mind 8 - 6 for the week.  

Not a bad week but not a good week.  Need to get better.  For those who talked about providing help, hit the send button.  That puts me at 100-59-1 for the season. 


From Larry Coon ( take a look at the differences between the old NBA CBA and the new NBA CBA.  Or you can go directly to his article on

Larry Coon is the author of the NBA Salary Cap FAQ. Follow him on Twitter.

Following a take-it-or-leave-it offer from the league, the dissolution of the players' union, the filing of a federal antitrust lawsuit, and a 15-hour settlement negotiation, the two sides in the NBA labor dispute came to a tentative agreement to settle the players' lawsuit. This agreement is expected to lead to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and allow teams to resume business on Dec. 9 -- with opening day slated for Christmas.
Although many "B-level" issues remain to be resolved, this tentative agreement provides the framework for what will become the new CBA. The changes in the tentative agreement represent sweeping changes to the NBA's economic system. Here is a summary of the principal deal points as they relate to the 2005 CBA.

Length of the agreement

2005 CBA: Seven years, with a league opt-out in 2011 (which the league invoked).
2011 CBA: Ten years, with a mutual opt-out (either side can opt out) in 2017.
Who benefits? While it is encouraging to think that we won't have to witness another lockout until 2022, in all likelihood one side will invoke its option in 2017 to reopen labor negotiations. Since right now this deal appears to greatly favor the owners, it is reasonable to think the players will opt out -- especially since the national TV contracts are up for renewal in 2016, and the league expects an injection of new revenue. But this may not turn out to be the case -- the 2005 CBA was thought to favor the league, as well.

Revenue split

2005 CBA: Players receive 57 percent of Basketball Related Income (BRI).
2011 CBA: Players receive 51.15 percent of BRI in 2011-12. In later seasons players receive 49 to 51 percent of BRI (50 percent, plus or minus 60.5 percent of the amount by which BRI exceeds or falls short of projections); 1 percent of BRI (from the players' share) is used to fund a new pool for post-career benefits.
Who benefits? This is the biggest win for the owners in this agreement. After losing $370 million, $340 million and $300 million in the past three seasons under the previous CBA, the league entered negotiations looking for a fundamental reset of the NBA's economic system -- and got it. In addition, players will lose approximately 20 percent of their 2011-12 salaries -- a result of the games missed due to the lockout.


2005 CBA: 8 percent (in 2010-11) withheld to ensure players receive no more than the agreed-to revenue split. If escrow withholding is insufficient, salaries are reduced the following season to compensate.
2011 CBA: 10 percent withheld in every season. If the escrow withholding is insufficient, the shortfall is taken out of the players' post-career benefits pool. Salaries are not adjusted the following season.
Who benefits? The players win here by getting the league to agree not to take any shortfall from their salaries the following season. Since there will be no rollback of existing salaries, the escrow system will likely be stretched to its limits in the early years of this agreement, and the players' salary losses are capped at 10 percent no matter what happens.

Amnesty provision

2005 CBA: One player can be waived prior to the start of the 2005-06 season. The salary of the waived player will not count toward the luxury tax.
2011 CBA: One player can be waived prior to the start of any season (only one player can be amnestied during the agreement, and contracts signed under the new CBA are not eligible). The salary of the waived player will not count toward the salary cap or luxury tax. Teams with cap room can submit competing offers to acquire an amnestied player (at a reduced rate) before he hits free agency and can sign with any team.
Who benefits? As with the amnesty provision in the 2005 agreement, this provision allows teams to kick one bad contract to the curb. The benefits to amnesty are greater now than they were in 2005 -- 100 percent of the player's salary is removed for both cap and tax purposes. The other big change is that teams are allowed to pocket their amnesty card to use later -- so teams that managed their cap well to this point benefit because they don't have to use it or lose it.
Teams with cap room can benefit greatly from the amnesty provision by being able to submit a competing offer to claim an amnestied player at a reduced rate. For example, if Cleveland uses its amnesty provision on Baron Davis, a team that is $5 million below the salary cap can submit a $5 million offer to acquire Davis' contract. If that offer is the highest, the team acquires Davis and is responsible for $5 million of his salary -- with Cleveland responsible for the balance. This happens before Davis becomes a free agent and can sign on his own with a team like Miami.

Revenue sharing

2005 CBA: Some of the undistributed funds from the luxury tax were given to teams in competitively disadvantaged markets.
2011 CBA: A new plan approximately triples the amount of money that is revenue-shared. Details of this plan are yet to be finalized.
Who benefits? Small-market teams. Teams like the Lakers, with their new $3 billion local television contract, will be perennial payers into this system, and teams like Charlotte and Milwaukee will be perennial beneficiaries.

Minimum team salary

2005 CBA: Teams must spend at least 75 percent of the salary cap.
2011 CBA: Teams must spend at least 85 percent of the cap in 2011-12 and 2012-13, and at least 90 percent of the cap in later years of the agreement.
Who benefits? The players. Although it was once rare for teams to be below the salary cap, it became more common in the latter years of the 2005 agreement as teams struggled to cope with financial markets. For example, the Sacramento Kings traded for Marquis Daniels at the 2011 trade deadline because their payroll was below the 75 percent minimum. By raising the salary floor, teams are required to spend more money on player salaries.
The higher salary floor could also affect teams' amnesty decisions. Teams might decide to hang on to high-salaried players rather than amnesty them in order to meet the new minimum team salary requirements.

Luxury tax

2005 CBA: Teams paid $1 for every $1 their salary was above the luxury-tax threshold.
2011 CBA: Teams pay $1 for every $1 their salary is above the luxury-tax threshold in 2011-12 and 2012-13. Starting in 2012-13, teams pay an incremental tax that increases with every $5 million above the tax threshold ($1.50, $1.75, $2.50, $3.25, etc.). Teams that are repeat offenders (paying tax at least four out of the past five seasons) have a tax that is higher still -- $1 more at each increment ($2.50, $2.75, $3.50, $4.25, etc.).
Who benefits? I'll tell you which teams don't benefit -- the perennial taxpayers, like the Lakers and Mavericks. When the league was unable to negotiate a hard cap, they settled for the next best thing -- a more punitive luxury tax that will make teams think twice before committing to a higher payroll. For example, the Lakers' tax bill in 2011 (when the tax was dollar-for-dollar) was about $19.9 million. Under the new system, being that far over the tax line would cost them $44.68 million. If they were a repeat offender (paying tax at least four of the previous five years) they would owe $64.58 million!

Distribution of luxury-tax funds

2005 CBA: Teams that did not pay tax each received 1/30th of the total tax fund. Taxpaying teams forfeited their tax distribution -- their money was used for "league purposes" such as the revenue-sharing program.
2011 CBA: No more than 50 percent of the tax funds can go exclusively to teams that did not pay tax.
Who benefits? The previous tax system created a "cliff" at the tax threshold -- a team that was $1 under the tax line received a full tax distribution (about $2.4 million in 2011), but a team that was $1 over the tax line didn't receive anything.
Because of this cliff, teams needed to be very careful with their spending when they were near the tax threshold -- in fact, it looks like Houston was burned in 2011 by straying just $800,000 above the limit. The new system softens the blow for teams that exceed the tax line by just a little. For example, under the new system, Houston would have had to pay $800,000 in tax, but may have been eligible for a payout to offset their tax bill.
However, while the new agreement stipulates that no more than 50 percent of the tax funds can go exclusively to teams that did not pay tax, it doesn't specify what happens to the other 50 percent. It is possible the remaining tax money will be distributed to all teams in equal shares, but it's also possible the NBA will reserve this money for "league purposes."

Additional limits for taxpaying teams

2005 CBA: No additional limits for taxpaying teams.
2011 CBA: Taxpaying teams have a smaller midlevel exception, can acquire less salary in trade, and cannot use the biannual exception. Starting in 2013-14, teams more than $4 million above the tax level cannot receive a player in a sign-and-trade transaction.
Who benefits? Throughout the labor dispute, the league has tried to improve competitive balance by installing a very restrictive cap system -- first asking for a hard cap, then a "flex" cap, and then a highly punitive luxury tax, before finally settling on a luxury tax with more teeth. In addition to an incremental tax penalty, taxpaying teams now will have less access to exceptions. This will give small-market teams a competitive advantage -- for example, instead of weighing equal $5 million offers in Los Angeles and Minnesota, a free agent might be forced to choose between a $3 million offer in Los Angeles and a $5 million offer in Minnesota.

Stretch provision

2005 CBA: By mutual agreement, teams can alter the payment schedule to waived players. The remaining guaranteed salary is applied to the team's salary cap across the remaining years of the player's contract.
2011 CBA: The player's remaining salary and his cap hit may be stretched across twice the number of seasons remaining on the contract, plus one (for example, the salary and cap hit for a player waived with two seasons remaining may be stretched across five seasons). This is entirely at the team's discretion, but it applies only to contracts signed under the 2011 CBA.
Who benefits? Teams with bad contracts. For example, if a team has an underperforming player with one season remaining at $12 million, the team can waive him and stretch his salary across three seasons at $4 million per season. This will help with cash flow and provide $8 million in cap relief for the current season.

Free agents and restricted free agency

2005 CBA: A cap hold of 150 percent to 300 percent continues to count against the team's cap for its free agents who have Bird rights or were first-round picks. A team has seven days to match an offer sheet to its restricted free agent. Qualifying offers to restricted free agents are based on the player's draft position.
2011 CBA: Cap holds are reduced for most players who have Bird rights or were first-round picks, and now range from 150 percent to 250 percent. Teams have three days to match an offer sheet to its restricted free agent. Players can qualify for a better qualifying offer by meeting certain criteria. High-drafted players might receive a lower qualifying offer by failing to meet the same criteria.
Who benefits? The reduction in cap holds provides teams with additional cap room to spend on other team's free agents -- giving players slightly higher salaries and promoting player movement.
The reduction in the waiting period from seven games to three games is a big win for restricted free agents -- teams are often very hesitant to make offers to restricted free agents because they don't want to tie up the salary amount on their cap for an entire week while the other team makes up its mind whether to match.
The higher qualifying offers help ensure that lower-drafted players who become starters or regular rotation players receive a salary that is in line with their performance. Conversely, the lower qualifying offer for underperforming high draft picks helps protect teams. For instance, rather than submitting an $8.8 million offer to retain the rights to Greg Oden, Portland would be able to offer much less. In fact, I fully expect this to be nicknamed the "Greg Oden Rule."

New contracts

2005 CBA: Six years with 10.5 percent raises for Bird free agents; five years with 8 percent raises for other players. Maximum salaries are approximately 25, 30 or 35 percent of the salary cap, depending on the player's years of service.
2011 CBA: Five years with 7.5 percent raises for Bird free agents; four years with 4.5 percent raises for other players (including all sign-and-trade transactions). The maximum salaries are the same as the 2005 CBA, except players coming off their rookie scale contracts qualify for the 30 percent maximum if they meet certain criteria. Minimum and rookie scale salaries are frozen near their 2010-11 levels until revenues rise enough that the reduction is proportional to the 12 percent reduction in the overall system.
Who benefits? These changes provide the league with more cost control. The exception is the higher maximum salary for fifth-year players who meet certain league honors (MVP, an all-NBA team member twice, or an All-Star twice), which lets young superstars (think Derrick Rose) cash in with a bigger contract sooner.
The higher maximum salary for fifth-year players can also benefit teams. In 2006 LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all signed shorter extensions (which allowed them to become free agents in three years) rather than signing on for the maximum five years. The three players timed their free agency to follow their seventh season in the league, when they became eligible for the 30 percent maximum. Allowing franchise players such as these to sign for the higher maximum sooner reduces the temptation for these players to sign shorter contracts, delaying their eventual free agency.

Contract extensions

2005 CBA: Players coming off their rookie scale contracts can extend for five additional seasons. All other veterans can extend for five total seasons, which includes the seasons remaining on their current contracts.
2011 CBA: Players coming off their rookie scale contracts can extend for four additional seasons, although the team can designate one player who is eligible for five seasons at the maximum salary. A team can have only one designated player on its roster at any time. All other veterans can extend for four total seasons, which includes the seasons remaining on their current contract. The extension in an extend-and-trade contract is limited to three total seasons, which includes the seasons remaining on the current contract.
Who benefits? The teams benefit here, just as they do with shorter free-agent contracts -- teams' future salary commitments are reduced. In addition, limiting extend-and-trade contracts to three seasons (including the seasons remaining on the player's current contract) helps reduce situations like the one the Nuggets were in last season with Carmelo Anthony.

Midlevel exception

2005 CBA: Five years starting at the average salary ($5.765 million in 2010-11), with 8 percent raises.
2011 CBA: For non-taxpaying teams, four years starting at $5 million (base salary grows by 3 percent annually beginning in 2013-14), with 4.5 percent raises. Taxpaying teams are limited to three years, a $3 million base salary (which grows by 3 percent annually beginning in 2013-14) and 4.5 percent raises. Teams with cap room (therefore losing their midlevel exception) get a new midlevel that is for two years and starts at $2.5 million (growing 3 percent annually).
Who benefits? Very few full midlevel contracts handed out under the 2005 CBA turned out to be good bargains in their later years. Reducing the size and length of the midlevel exception will help teams rid themselves of bad contracts.
The new exception for teams with cap room will benefit teams that clear cap room to sign free agents. For example, in the summer of 2010 Miami gutted its roster in order to obtain James and Bosh. This left the Heat with a small amount of cap room to sign players like Mike Miller. But once they reached the salary cap, they could offer only minimum-salary contracts. Under the new CBA, once they reach the cap, they could still offer one or more players a total of $2.5 million.

Disabled player exception

2005 CBA: Five years, starting at the lesser of half the replaced player's salary or the average salary, with 8 percent raises.
2011 CBA: One year, starting at the lesser of half the replaced player's salary or the non-taxpayer midlevel exception.
Who benefits? This exception provides teams with the ability to sign an emergency replacement for an injured player. Under the previous CBA, the player could be signed to a five-year contract, meaning a permanent replacement could be obtained. This also opened the door to situations where the injured player returned to the team while his replacement was still on the roster. By reducing to one year in the new CBA, this exception will more closely match its intent -- to provide a short-term emergency replacement for an injured player. Teams will now have to fend for themselves if the player's injury keeps him out for more than a year.

Trade rules

2005 CBA: Teams over the cap can acquire no more than 125 percent plus $100,000 of the salaries they trade away. A team can receive up to $3 million cash in any trade.
2011 CBA: Taxpaying teams can acquire no more than 125 percent plus $100,000 of the salaries they trade away (same as 2005 CBA). Non-taxpaying teams (based on their post-trade salary level) can acquire up to the lesser of 150 percent plus $100,000, or 100 percent plus $5 million of the salaries they trade away. The cash a team pays or receives in trade is limited to $3 million annually.
Who benefits? The relaxation of the salary matching requirements will facilitate player movement. The addition of the provision that allows teams to acquire up to 100 percent plus $5 million of the salaries of its traded players will also reduce "trade ballast" -- extra players thrown into a deal merely to make a trade legal. The number of crazy trades should therefore be reduced.
The limitation of cash in trades (to $3 million annually) will have a big effect on draft-pick trades. It is now common for first-round picks to be sold for up to $3 million each prior to the draft. By limiting teams to $3 million annually, these trades will be reduced.

Base year compensation

2005 CBA: Applies for six months (but no later than June 30) after a player is re-signed with Bird rights or receives an extension of his rookie scale contract, and receives a raise greater than 20 percent. Base year compensation limits the player's outgoing salary for trade purposes.
2011 CBA: The criteria for determining whether a player is subject to base year compensation are the same. Players subject to base year compensation cannot be traded before Jan. 15, except in a sign-and-trade. If the trade is allowed, then base year compensation is applied to the player's outgoing salary only in a sign-and-trade transaction.
Who benefits? Base year compensation prevents teams from re-signing players to higher salaries in order to facilitate a future trade. Preventing these players from being traded at all (except in a sign-and-trade) also helps to reduce crazy trades, where extra players are added to both sides of the deal to make the salaries match.

Re-signing a traded player

2005 CBA: If a player is traded and subsequently waived by his new team, he cannot re-sign with his original team for 30 days (during the season) or 20 days (during the offseason) following the trade.
2011 CBA: If a player is traded and subsequently waived by his new team, he cannot re-sign with his original team for one year following the trade or until July 1 after the last season of the player's contract, whichever is earlier.
Who benefits? The tighter salary-matching rules in the 2005 agreement often required the addition of ballast (extra players thrown in for salary matching purposes) to make a trade legal. These players were often unwanted and unneeded once the trade was complete, and were waived soon after the trade was consummated -- often finding their way back to the team that traded them after a short vacation. For example, the Cavs sent Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the Wizards as part of their 2010 trade for Antawn Jamison. The Wizards waived him a week later, and he subsequently re-signed with the Cavs for the remainder of the season.
The relaxation of trade rules should reduce -- but not eliminate -- the need for trade ballast. When it does occur, this rule change will prevent the team from reacquiring the player in the same season. This is a mixed blessing. On one hand, it will eliminate these wink-wink deals where players are traded with the full expectation of returning later. On the other hand, it might create a situation where an able-bodied player is unable to work in the league, because the only team that has an available roster spot and is willing to sign him is prevented from signing him.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 12 Picks

Too much cooking and had to run to urgent care for one of the little ones.

Picks for the day:

Packers (won't count because I didn't get it in on time)



Houston @ Jacksonville - Even with Matt Leinart under center, these Texans should be able to beat a much maligned Jags secondary.  I'll keep everything crossed.  Winner - Texans.

Buffalo @ New York Jets - This would be just too much for the Jets to lose this game, as bad as they need a win.  Sanchez, your days are numbered in Gang Green if you have another bad one.  Good Luck.  Winner - Jets

Cleveland @ Cincinatti - Peyton Hillis might actually play?!?!?  For those that don't believe in the Madden Curse, I'm just saying,......I think they need to put John Madden back on the cover.  Winner - Bengals

Minnesota @ Atlanta - Falcons should get an easy win with AP pretty much guaranteed to not play.  Too much on the Falcons side of the ball for this defense.  Winner - Falcons.

Arizona @ St. Louis - Is it Skelton or the other guy, yeah the big money guy?  Not sure this was a good year for former (and present) Eagles QBs.  Winner - Cardinals.

Carolina @ Indianapolis - It would be the worst thing in the world for Cam Newton, but I think the Colts could sneak one in this game.  They come up against a defense that is as bad as their own.  Winner - Colts

Tampa Bay @ Tennessee - Tough game for each team.  I think that Hasselbeck will start, but he'll be on a short leash if he falters.  The rookie looked decent last week.  Chris Johnson will help whichever QB the Titans throw out there.  Winner - Bucs

Chicao @ Oakland - Yes I said it, Caleb Hanie is a better QB for this system than Cutler is.  I stand by that.  Cutler is by far the better QB, but the Bears will be just fine (barring an injury to Forte) for the next 6 games.  This is a tough one, but the Raiders are a little beat up and the Bears are playing pretty well right now.  Winner - Bears

Washington @ Seattle - About the only good thing for the Redskins is that Santana Moss will probably play and it'll be good seeing him after his hand injury.  Can he push the Redskins over the edge?  Looking for the cardiac Seahawks to make me look good.  Winner - Seahawks

Denver @ San Diego - When does Tebow Mania stop?  I really don't know, but I have to think that this is the week.  The Chargers just need this win more than the Broncos.  I hate to pick against him, but let's see what happens.  Winner - Chargers

New England @ Philadelphia - You know I want to pick the Eagles, but for some reason, I am just not sure that VY can pull off another miracle.  I gotta roll with the folks from PA thought.  Winner - Eagles

Pittsburgh @ Kansas City - The bye week got the Steelers healthy and they should come back ready for the stretch run and unfortunately for the Chiefs that means they are lunch.  Winner - Steelers.

New York Giants @ New Orleans - Tough game for the Giants.  They face this Saints team coming off of a bye they should be well prepared and rested.  The Saints are home and the Giants have some injury concerns on both sides of the ball.  It'll take a monster game from Jacobs to make this a Giants win.  Winner - Saints

Who you got?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 11 Picks

Let's try and start this short week off with a win,...please.

New York Jets @ Denver - I'm all over Tebow Mania.  I am laughing at people that are saying he isn't a prototypical QB.  The stat that matters the most is the fact that he's 3-1.  Of course his coach said they had to change the entire playbook, but look at the QBs in the league and each one of them is slightly different and would require changes to playbooks.  Stop hating on this guy, he's a winner.  The Jets fly across country and they are going to play a team that will probably try and confuse them more than come straight at them.  They won't have LT, but they will have their defense.  The question is whether the Jets will screw this game up, or really, whether Sanchez screws up this game.  I thought Sanchez was the answer for this team at QB, but I am slowly starting to come over to the dark side.  They should win and win big, but there is a chance that this all comes apart for the Jets and Rex Ryan ends up with his hat over his head and looking for his wife's feet (Please tell me you saw the youtube snippets of Rex and wifey and his foot fetish?!?  I won't post, but you can go and search.  Winner - Jets.

Tampa Bay @ Green Bay - With everything that has happened this year, I should just pick the Bucs to win this game.  The reason, no one probably expects them to win and it's been a crazy season so far.  I think the Packers are the most complete offensive weapon in the NFL and their defense is growing into the dominate beast that they were last year in the playoffs.  We'll see what happens in the land of cheese.  Winner - Packers

Carolina @ Detroit - This is going to be a tough game for the Lions.  I imagine that Cam Newton is going to be 'ON' today and he'll just need some help to get this win from his defense and his RBs.  Unfortunately, I think the solution for some of the Lions issues on offense are going to be the Carolina defense.  This will be a shootout and it'll be excting to see which big game WR has the biggest impact.  Winner - Lions

Jacksonville @ Cleveland - Two very bad teams but lately the Jags have been stepping it up and they've been doing it with defense.  I gotta roll with the Jags because this Cleveland team isstruggling on offense.  Winner - Jaguars.

Oakland @ Minnesota - The Raiders look a little 'warm' as Palmer seems to be playing like the QB they traded half of the franchise for.  This week they play indoors and they play against a Vikings team that seems to put every other game together.  Is this one of those games?  Winner - Raiders.

Buffalo @ Miami - Another tough game.  The Dolphins have found a way to win and the Bills are struggling after that egg they laid against the Patriots.  I think the Bills bounce back because I'm not sure that Reggie Bush has more in his tank.  I could be wrong, but I just got a feeling.  Winner - Bills

Dallas @ Washington - Remember when this used to be a big time game?  Well, this shouldn't be a good game because the Cowboys should thoroughly trounce the Redskins.  Romo needs this game to help build some confidence.  Winner - Cowboys.

Cincinnati @ Baltimore - Tough game for the Ravens, you get a limited Ray Lewis if he plays at all and the Bengals might bring the best defense to the field in this game.  Joe Flacco, I'm looking for you to win this game for the Ravens by handing the ball off to Ray Rice.  Winner - Ravens.

Arizona @ San Francisco - This one is easy, the 49ers.  They are for real.  Winner - 49ers.

Seattle @ St. Louis - Do we have to pick this game?  The Seattle team that beat the Ravens is decent, but there are so many different angles.  Normally the Seahawks are terrible, the Rams are terrible, and you never know which team is going to show up.  Winner - Rams

Tennessee @ Atlanta - The Falcons should win this game, but this Titans team could pull the minor upset.  Should be fun to watch and I've been saying it all year long, but look for another big game for Chris Johnson.  Winner - Titans.

San Diego @ Chicago - The Bears have showed that they are ready to make the push to possibly challenge the Packers for the division.  They get a dysfunctional Chargers team that needs a win badly to right their ship.  The Bears put up lots of points last week and I'm not sure they can do that two weeks in a row.  The Bears have a better defense, so you gotta go with the home team.  Winner - Bears.

Philadelphia @ New York Giants - No Vick and pretty much no chance for the Eagles.  Once I typed that, all I could see is DeSean Jackson having a big game, them running the ball well, and the defense stepping up to beat the Giants.  Winner - Giants.

Kansas City @ New England - They are back on the winning track and I see them beating the Chiefs.  Winner - Patriots

Who you got?!?!?!?

2011-12 NFL Week 10 Wrap Up

Oakland @ San Diego - The Chargers just let me down.  Not sure how much more I can say about them, but between them and the Eagles, I'm just done for the year.  tonight.  Inquisitive Mind 0 - 1 for the week. 

New Orleans @ Atlanta - Thank you Mike Smith for this win.  I mean going for it on 4th down on your side of the field and in overtime?  Inquisitive Mind 1 -1 for the week

Arizona @ Philadelphia - You've got to be kidding me. The Eagles let who beat them?  Skelton?  Andy Reid, pack your bags.  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 2 for the week.  

Tennessee @ Carolina - Cam Newton is starting to make Andy Dalton the Rookie of the Year.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 2 for the week

Houston @ Tampa Bay - The Texans are playing like the team we thought they could be. Inquisitive Mind 3 - 2 for the week.

Miami @ Washington - Does it matter which QB they trot out there in Washington?  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 2 for the week.  

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis - I just though that the Colts would pull this one out.  Boy, was I wrong.  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 3 for the week

Denver @ Kansas City - The Chiefs get off the mat one week and then lay right back down.  Tebow completed 2, read it 2, that's T-W-O passes and won this game.  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 4 for the week.

Dallas @ Buffalo - Cowboys big and Romo looked good.  Let's see what happens next week in another game they should win.  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 4 for the week

St. Louis @ Cleveland - Did I pick this game? 

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati - They almost lost this game.  Still think the Steelers are dangerous.  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 4 for the week

Seattle @ Baltimore - I saw Ray Lewis get trucked.  I'm still crying somewhere on the inside.  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 5 for the week

San Francisco @ New York Giants - SMH.  Why is my starting fantasy RB sitting on the sidelines behind a dude with a messed up thigh?  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 6 for the week

Chicago @ Detroit - The Bears actually looked unbeatable.  I mean really unbeatable.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 6 for the week

New England @ New York Jets - Buddy,...I mean Rex Ryan, I'm done with you guys for the rest of the year.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 7 for the week

Minnesota @ Green Bay - DOMINATION.  Can't keep letting Rodgers get hit like that, but the Packers are good (just in case you've been living in a hole lately).  Inquisitive Mind 8 - 7 for the week

I guess I got trucked this week too.  Not only am I barely above .500, but I even missed a pick.  Whew, we gotta regroup.  Too much partying I guess.  That brings us to 92-53-1 for the year and needing a prayer to catch Golic. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 10 Picks

Ok, back home in the Bull City (Durham, NC if you didn't know) and I'm limited due to no Internet access and I'm doing my picks from my phone. So I won't work out my fingers too much but wanted to get my picks out. The Chargers already lost for me so we're starting the rest o the week in a hole. Wish me luck. New Orleans - they have to get back on track if they want to be the team that plays the Packers for the NFC title. Thy win this week in the ATL. Pittsburgh - I thought they were too old? They seem just right by my calculations as long as they don't play Baltimore. Steelers all the way. (Fingers tires already, so here we go with less typing) Cowboys Colts Chiefs Dolphins Eagles Texans Titans Ravens Bears Giants Jets Packers That's should do it. Who you got?!?!?!?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 10 Thursday Night Pick

First Thursday night game of the season and it's an old AFC West showdown. 

Oakland @ San Diego - The Raiders come into this game and the big question is how much of the offense has Carson Palmer learned?  We know that there will not be any Run DMC for this game, so Bush has got to have a monster game if they want to win.  Where is Darius Heyward-Bey when you need him?  If he gets some run tonight, look for a decent game from him.  Palmer made some good throws last week but will need to replicate more than a few of those this week.  Note to Palmer, make sure you throw to the same color jersey tonight.  The Chargers come in off a close loss to the Packers where Philip Rivers seemed to bounce back after a tough start.  A total of 6 TDs that game, but 2 of them to the Packers is a performance that he can't repeat.  He'll have Mathews back tonight and hopefully (he's on my fantasy team) he'll hold up and not re-injure that groin.  If he does, look for Tolbert to bounce around, over, and through some Raider defenders.  No Malcolm Floyd may means a lot more balls going to Vincent Jackson.  Can Rivers prove to us that he can close the deal?  This is a home game, he better or the 'boos' might be coming out tonight.  Winner - Chargers.

Who you got?!?!?!?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

NBA Lockout Over, Well Not Really,.......

The NBA and the NBAPA are meeting at this moment to figure out a way to end this lockout.  If for some reason they can't come to an agreement, check out this the folks over at Basketball Prospectus as they run a simulated season of the the 2011-12 NBA Season.  As of last night the games that were played, here are some of the outcomes (all information from Basketball Prospectus): 

PACERS 119, ROCKETS 115: Danny Granger (16 points) and Darren Collison (12) led a 37-point first quarter for Indiana, during which the Pacers led by as many as 15. Indiana pushed the lead to 22 in the second quarter before Houston finished the half strong. Nevertheless, Indiana tacked on 38 more points in the second period, giving them--I'll do the math for you--a robust 75-point first half. Houston plugged its defensive gaps in the second half, holding Indiana to 17 points in the third. Marcus Morris scored the last four points on a 12-5 closing surge that left the game tied entering the final quarter. It was nip-and-tuck down the stretch. Kevin Martin scored off the break to put Houston up 110-108 with 2:19 to play. Granger answered with a three. Luis Scola's old school three-point play put the Rockets back in front 115-114 at the 1:04 mark. Granger was then fouled on a three attempt and sank all three free throws. Martin missed a three, but Houston retained the ball when the rebound was knocked out of bounds. Chase Budinger missed another three and Granger made two free throws to seal the win. Granger was fantastic, needing just 21 shots to put up 42 points.

HEAT 88, JAZZ 81: Miami entered the game 2-1 but sported an average point differential of +17.7 after winning consecutive home blowouts. There was no blowout this time around after an 11-2 run gave Utah a four-point lead early in the third quarter. The Jazz stretched the lead to six before Udonis Haslim scored in the paint and Eddie House hit a three, drawing Miami within a point entering the fourth quarter. Those hoops ended up sparking a 13-point run that gave the Heat the upper hand. The Jazz stayed within shouting distance, but never seriously challenged the rest of the way as Miami won its third straight. Dwyane Wade enjoyed his best game of the season, scoring 28 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

KNICKS 116, THUNDER 110: I suspect this would have been NBA TV's featured game on Tuesday, and it would have been an excellent choice. Kevin Durant versus Carmelo Anthony in Madison Square Garden--what's not to love? Both teams were starved for a win after starting the season slow and played like it. The Knicks seized a 14-point lead on Toney Douglas' three midway through the second quarter and led by eight at the half, with Douglas' 13 points leading the way. Durant went on a spree early in the third, scoring 12 points in less than four minutes, drawing the Thunder within three. New York pushed back, stretching the lead back to 13 on Douglas' hoop late in the third. The Thunder had another burst left, scoring the first nine points of the fourth to tie the game. The teams traded baskets before Bill Walker's fastbreak dunk capped a 7-2 run that put the Knicks up five with 4:06 to play and New York led by at least six over the last 3:21. Anthony scored 14 of his 32 in the fourth. The streak-shooting Douglas finished with 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting. The Thunder fell to 1-4 on the young season.

BULLS 122, CLIPPERS 88: The Clippers slipped by the Bulls 100-99 in their only meeting in Chicago last season, snapping the Bulls' seven-game winning streak when Derrick Rose missed a free throw after time had expired. This time around, Tom Thibodeau's bench led a 32-18 second quarter burst that left Chicago up by 20 at halftime. It was never really a ballgame, as Chicago led by as many as 35 in the second half and improved to 3-1 on the season. The Bulls outrebounded the Clippers 51-21, grabbed more than half their own misses and outscored L.A. 20-1 on second-chance points. If this were the real thing, you'd be questioning the effort of Vinny Del Negro's squad in his second trip back to the arena in which he once coached.

GRIZZLIES 116, SUNS 100: A tough test for the surprising Suns, who entered the game as one of four unbeaten teams left in the league. Memphis went on a 23-11 run during the first half and led by 13 at the break with Rudy Gay's 12 points leading the way. Gay entered the game averaging 29.7 points per contest. He finished with 26 this time out, as the Grizzlies led by double digits for the entire second half and came evened their record at 2-2. The Suns are no longer perfect after getting pounded in transition (44-24) and in the paint (34-18). The bad news for Memphis: Zach Randolph was injured and will miss a couple of games.

Great site and great simulation.  I'll definitely be checking back in the near future, especially if the real NBA guys can't get it together.  

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Catching Up

It's been a while since I've posted anything outside of my weekly picks, so I thought that I'd get back into the swing of things with some quick blurbs so you can see what's going on.


Lockout - We all know that the lockout is still on going and David Stern has been masterful about using the media to bludgeon the players into taking a raw deal and being 'happy' with it.  There's a lot of people who look at this from an employer to employee view and how dare the players want more than a 50/50 BRI split.  People are going to argue and make this about their experience ('if I had a company I'd tell them to take the deal or they can get out of here' or 'these guys are asking their bosses for more of the profits, to he77 with them').  You must understand that these athletes are more like actors than rank and file employees.  They have a specialized skillset that you just can't go out and get any average Joe off the street to perform.  Plus this is corporate America where sometimes you have to fight for everything.  This can't be lost in the argument because Stern is trying his best to demonize the players (is demonize to strong of a word?) and have the fans revolt against them.  I only hope that the lockout ends soon and that there is a deal where there are concessions on both sides and not just the owners.

Charlotte Bobcats - Mr. Air Jordan himself is on record as one of the owners that wants to cut the players percentage of BRI down to 47%.  All I got to say Mike is that when this is done, we're going to see how your public stance hurts your ability and image among the players that hold you in such high esteem.   


Chicago Bears - Well, he finally got paid, and no not Forte, offensive lineman Garza.  I still can fathom why the Bears don't make this deal with Forte.  They had put a deal on the table that would have given him around $13M to $14M guaranteed and Forte wants closer to $16M to $18M guaranteed.  You have a guy that is doing it all for your team (minus the fumbles last night) and he's being a pro about it and he's not letting his play suffer.  I just don't get it.  Worse for Forte is the franchise tag, which the team can do for 2 years straight.  The cap number for the franchise tag used to be the Top 5 position players from the previous year, but now the franchise tag is the Top 5 position players from the previous 5 years.  That lowers next years' cap for a RB from $9.5M (this year) to closer to $7.5M.  Sucks to be Forte right now. 

Indianapolis Colts - Still winless and maybe they want to stay that way.  Andrew Luck is the prize and many are questioning what the Colts would do with that pick, should they get it.  I think it's easy, I think you draft Luck and keep him until Peyton retires (I imagine 2 to 3 years tops due to neck concerns).  Yes the Colts need offensive and defensive line help, but when you think about it, Peyton would end his career like daddy Manning started his, running for his life. 

New York Giants - With Ahmad Bradshaw having a broken bone in his foot, Jacobs did a decent job this past weekend against the Patriots to help the Giants get a win.  Now word is Bradshaw is on his way back and will probably have to share the workload in order to keep him healthy.  Why wouldn't the Giants just rest Bradshaw for a few weeks and give Jacobs the rock for a few weeks.  This get Bradshaw a little healthier and maybe energizes Jacobs. 

Arizona Cardinals - With the Philadelphia Eagles on the docket for Sunday, Kevin Kolb is trying to do his best to get back in the lineup so he can prove the Eagles made a mistake (unless he plays defense, I really think that's a moot argument) in trading him away.  

New England Patriots - They have waived Albert Haynesworth.  Is Ocho up next?  I for one thought that their additions would reap benefits for the Patriots and boy was I wrong.   

Washington Redskins - Released Donte Stallworth.

Carolina Panthers - Released Ronald Fields.

Monday, November 07, 2011

2011-12 NFL Week 9 Wrap Up

In my best Lombardi voice, 'What in the he77 is going on out there?'  This was another thisclose week with some teams just letting me down.  And it's funny that I have to start this off with one of those teams,.....

Miami @ Kansas City - I did say this 'This Dolphins team has been playing tough as late and they are one of those teams that you don't want to play because they are hungry.  If you aren't prepared, you're going to get beat'.  So maybe I was just ahead of the curve on this one and should have ridden with the Dolphins.  Reggie Bush (13 carries for 92 yards, 1 TD, 3 rec for 50 yards) has put up some big numbers the last two weeks, which give more credence to the Kardashian-Gate (he's been running his arse off since her divorce).  Matt Moore looked like Dan Marino (on a bad day, 17 of 23 for 244 yards, 3 TDs) and the Dolphins defense got pretty staunch all of a sudden.  This is the Chiefs team that I had been talking trash about for most of the year and then I pick them and they do this to me.  To add more pain to the equation, the Chiefs didn't even commit any turnovers.  Just unmotivated and not prepared.  Time for Haley to shave after this one.  Inquisitive Mind 0 - 1 for the week.  

Atlanta @ Indianapolis - Again, it's sad to see the Colts getting beat like this.  For all of those who vote for MVP, please mail that award to Indianapolis, C/O Peyton Manning for the next 2 years (whether he plays or not).  The Falcons looked like world beaters with Ryan (14 of 24 for 275 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT) and Turner (19 carries for 71 yards, 1 TD) handling the majority of the load.  It seems like this was nothing more than a pre-season game for the Falcons so hopefully they got back on track with a limited workout this week.  Big Ups to Julio Jones (3 rec, 131 yards, 2 TDs) on his breakout game of the season.  Side note: Thanks to @Lizzs_Lockeroom for pointing out that no one was really tweeting or talking about Marvin Harrison being inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor?  Where is the love?  That guy put his body on the line (all 5'8" of him) for years for the Colts and helping Manning set a lot of passing records.  Inquisitive Mind 1 - 1- for the week.  

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans - The Saints looked like a team on a mission and they played liked they owed the Bucs a butt whuppin from their last encounter.  Brees was Brees (27 of 36 for 258 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) and the rest of the Saints backfield, Ivory/Thomas/Sproles combined for 195 yards on the ground and the Saints survived a late comeback try by the Bucs.  This was an all-business game as the Saints looked to prove that they should be the team that people are talking about being able to face and beat the Packers for the NFC.  I like Josh Freeman (27 of 37 for 281 yards, 1 TD), but I'll say this again, how do they get this guy to zero in earlier in games and not wait for the 4th quarter?  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 1 for the week.  

New York Jets @ Buffalo - This is the next game that let me down.  I just knew that the Bills, playing at The Ralph, with the 'White Out' in full force would show up and move the Jets season a lot closer to the brink.  What happened was something totally unexplainable as the Bills refused to come out of the locker room, or at least their desire stayed there as they put up their worst performance of the year.  I will give it to the Jets, they played well, but I'm not sold on them yet.  Sanchez (20 of 28 for 230 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) was just alright, but the defense did show us that they have the ability.  Fitzpatrick 15 of 31 for 191 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) was bad, Mr. Jackson (18 carries, 82 yards, 3 rec 38 yards) was bad, and the Bills defense couldn't get off the field.  Moral of the story, you make turnovers, you lose.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 2 for the week.  

Seattle @ Dallas - I say let Jerry Jones coach the team.  I mean at times, it seems like these Cowboys need that type of motivation sitting on the sidelines.  You miss a tackle, you gotta face Jerry, you throw a pick, Jerry's waiting on the sideline.  This Seahawks team sucks, and I'm really being nice.  I'm almost at the point where I am going to travel out there this week in my cleats and tryout for the starting QB job that they have open.  The Cowboys let this team play with them for a half and that's way too long.  Inquisitive Mind 3 - 2 for the week.  

Cleveland @ Houston - I'm not sure how often this happens, but when two backs from the same team, Foster (19 carries, 124 yards, 1 TD, 5 rec, 26 yards) and Tate (12 carries, 115 yards, 1 TD) both eclipse 100 yards, you normally win the game.  Even if your QB, Schaub (14 of 23 for 119 yards, 1 INT), plays like garbage.  Best record in the franchise for the Texans, right?  Inquisitive Mind 4 - 2 for the week.  

San Francisco @ Washington - If you were on twitter, just search for #ShannyFace and you'll see the ugliest picture you're ever seen.  The Redskins shouldn't have to put up with this kind of performance by their team.  Someone needs to just put them out of their misery.  There's been a lot of chatter about who is your Coach of the Year at the halfway point of the season and my response is an emphatic Harbaugh.  Jim wins hands down because he actually has his team winning and they have Alex Smith (17 of  24 for 200 yards, 1 TD) as their starter.  Let that marinate for a second.  John Harbaugh gets any second place votes because his Ravens are looking good right now after sweeping the Steelers this year.  Frank Gore ran the ball and all the talk before the game really meant nothing as the 49ers took the Redskins heart.  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 2 for the week.  

Cincinnati @ Tennessee - Well Chris Johnson seems to be turning the corner, but not fast enough for this Titans team to change their direction.  This was a tough loss for the Titans and I think this will pretty much end their hopes of making the playoffs unless they can get on a real nice run over the next few weeks.  Not sure they have enough left in the tank.  Andy Dalton (22 of 39 for 217 yards, 3 TDs) is the truth.  I doubted him earlier in the year, but the kid can play, I mean he can really play.  He quietly brought his team back to win this game.  He's doing a lot while depending on Cedric Benson (20 carries, 78 yards) and the Bengals defense to get him through.  Just imagine this guy with some more talent on the offensive side of the ball.  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 3 for the week.  

Denver @ Oakland - Wow!!  I have to say that someone from the Broncos had to be reading my blog because I said here 'Can I say that they are setting this kid up to fail?  The offense doesn't seem to be tailored to his skillset and he's also struggling because he doesn't have a go to receiver (if Decker is your answer here then that further proves my point) and really no running game'.  Then the Broncos go out and tailor make their game plan to Tebow's (10 of 21 for 124 yards, 2 TDs, 12 carries, 118 yards) strengths and he puts on a performance, along with McGahee (20 carries, 163 yards, 2 TDs).  And yes, I also did say that Decker (3 rec, 47 yards, 1 TD) isn't a #1 receiver but he had a good game also.  The rebirth of Carson Palmer looks to be taking baby steps also as he showed the world that he still has some football left in his body (but maybe not enough?).  I'm not so worried about the Raiders as they will get Run DMC back next week and I look for them to make the playoffs or scare us all the way there.  Inquisitive Mind 5 - 4 for the week.  

New York Giants @ New England - Ok, let's get past all of the Eli is the best and this was the Superbowl all over again.  This was a week 9 game where the Giants limped into Gillette Stadium (no Bradshaw, no Nicks) and beat the Patriots.  Yes, they were a 9 point dog, but it took a great team effort and a last second drive by Eli to win the game.  So, let's cheer about that, but hold off on all of the Giants are THE team now.  Both teams were even on time of possession (Giants 30:17, Pats 29:43), rushing yards (Giants 111 yards, Patriots 106 yards), and the Patriots had about 90 more passing yards.  No big statistical differences with the exception of the turnovers (Pats 4, Giants 2).  I did hear boos directed at Tom Brady (that has to be a first at home for him), but they had their chances.  (Getting on soapbox) Dear Giants fans:  The QB that you have is not named Peyton, but it is Peyton's little brother.  Eli is an average or slightly better than average QB (take a look at his entire book of work), but he's having a helluva year so far.  You will need to play much better defense and run the ball more effectively to win the NFC.  I'm not saying you don't have a chance, but let's temper the enthusiasm for right now.  (Getting off my soapbox).  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 4 for the week.  

St. Louis @ Arizona - The Rams ran the ball pretty well but weren't able to stop the juggernaut that is John Skelton (20 of 35 for 222 yards, 1 TD) from leading the Cardinals to a win.  (Yes, I laughed when I typed that last line).  Steven Jackson (29 carries, 130 yards) put in work.  Doesn't it seem like he's in a no win situation in St. Louis?  Anyway, Sam Bradford (23 of 36 for 255 yards, 1 INT) is still on someone's milk carton with his performance.  However, Patrick Peterson (99 yard punt return, 1 INT) figured out a way to not only get the win, but do it in Primetime fashion by returning a punt for a TD to end the game in overtime.  Inquisitive Mind 6 - 5 for the week.  

Green Bay @ San Diego - Well, the Chargers found a way to keep Aaron Rodgers (21 of 26 for 247 yards, 4 TDs) on the sideline by running the ball, Philip Rivers (26 of 46 for 385 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs) threw for 6 TDs (two to the Packers), and the Chargers lost.  Rivers had something to prove after his choke from last Monday night and after the first touchdown pass, I thought for sure he'd have a pretty good game.  The Chargers had some opportunities but they weren't able to capitalize on them.  I will say this again, Aaron Rodgers proved in this game that he is THE MAN right now.  I like Brees, I like Brady, but right now they are like 1a, while Rodgers is an emphatic 1.  Could you imagine this Packers team with a better running game?  I don't think that they run the table and go undefeated, but I think they definitely return to the Superbowl this year, barring a significant injury.  Norv Turner, it's time to pack your bags and go and get a OC job somewhere.  I think they need some help in DC, and you should try to return to whence you came.  Inquisitive Mind 7 - 5 for the week.  

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh - What a game!!!!!  This is the type of game that I had to take my son away from his regularly scheduled programming and have him watch this game.  This was about defense, and punishing the opposing team.  Ray Rice's (18 carries, 43 yards, 1 TD) 80 yard scamper was called back on a bad holding call, but this game was marred by a few bad calls, both ways.  I thought for sure we'd see a lot more out of the Steelers because they lost Round 1 of this matchup, but it seems like only James Harrison (8 tackles, 3 sacks) got the memo.  Big Ben (20 of 37 for 330 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) had a decent game, but not being able to run, hurt the suddenly pass-happy Steelers.  On the other hand Joe Flacco (28 of 47 for 300 yards, 1 TD) decided to show us his good side with leading the team down the field for the game winning drive.  I like Flacco, but I am still not sure that this team can win it all if he doesn't consistently play better.  He has weapons, so he has no excuse.  Is it play calling or something else?  Inquisitive Mind 8 - 5 for the week.  

Chicago @ Philadelphia - This had to be the best game of the season for the Bears, I mean, the best (with the exception to the two fumbles by Forte, they still need to pay that man).  Cutler (18 of 32 for 208 yards, 2 TDs) didn't get sacked, and was actually in a good mood after the game.  They jumped on the Eagles early and it looked like they were going to blow them out, but somehow the Eagles, led by LeSeasn McCoy, scrapped back into this game.  I think it's interesting watching this game that the Eagles have a lot of pieces, but as someone said, they don't have that chemistry.  Despite some lapses on defense and the inability to stop the run, they actually looked ok.  Their season is at that critical stage where they have to almost win out to make the playoffs and sadly I'm going to say they have a chance (still on the Eagles bandwagon, but I have a leg and half my arse hanging off).  The Bears can't play better than this, or if they can they actually might have me opening my mouth and inserting my foot.  We'll see, I hope they are wrong.  Inquisitive Mind 8 - 6 for the week.  

Well, obviously I'm getting hammered with this whole picks thing.  This 8-6 week bring me to 84-46 for the season.  It's going to get better.  Pulling out all stop for Week 10.